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La Trobe University Living History: Oscar Yildiz


♪ (Music Playing) ♪ The best time for me was my four years at this University, the friendships, the relationships. I gained an experience here. It wasn’t just education. Oscar Yildiz. I’m CEO of Bully Zero Australian Foundation, and I’m also a counsellor at the City of Morland. Bully Zero Australia Foundation is a national charity, and I was moved by a number of families that were losing their kids to suicide. What we’re all about is saving lives, and I want to save lives. We’ve saved 74 lives as a result through our hotline, and we deliver to just on 450 to 500 schools a year. Coming here I felt like I was free. I felt that I was a big part of the University back then, and I still feel that now. It was being able to embrace a lot of the democratic freedoms that this University offered. To me it was my second home. It was in fact a sanctuary. I remember losing my grandmother. This was the place where I walked around for a couple of hours in tears. You know, and people pulled me up and said ‘Are you okay?’ I said ‘Yeah, I’m good. I’m good’. But I felt more comfortable crying here than I felt comfortable crying at home. What does that say? It says there’s a bond. There’s a connection. Thursday nights we would be up at the bar. It was a good night for us to just talk about some of the exams and some of the assignments that we’ve got coming up. Just a good way to review the week I guess. I’ll never forget some of those tutors and the lecturers, and also the relationships I had here at the University. I remember having the phone numbers, honestly, to my tutors. I can’t remember her name, but she was – she gave me a distinction. I remember ringing her around about 8:30 and I was quite embarrassed, and I said ‘Look, I know it’s late I’m ringing you’. She said ‘Don’t be silly. You ring me any time you want’. She said ‘Look, I’ve just put the kids to bed. You tell me what you need’. Those relationships developed who we are today. Yes. Wow. So this is actually my pencil. It’s me underlining it. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe you found it. I can remember reading an entire book in a couple of hours because you had no choice. You had to get the work done. Yes, this brings back a lot of memories and a lot of hours spent in the library. Wow. A lot of my values today in terms of respect, in terms of treating people the way I want to be treated, in terms of just some of the attributes, my personality, it’s honestly – I’m saying this with all honesty – it’s because of this place.

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